Castlebar RFC held its annual black tie dinner in the clubhouse on Friday night last. The event was very well attended and well done to all who organised it. The player of the year awards were also announced and were:
First xv player of the year – Ger Prendegast
Second xv player of the year – Eamon Cafferkey
Underage player of the year – Tom Murphy
Clubman of the year – David O’Malley
Congratulations to all our award winners.
The Underage/mini rugby awards for players from under 8 to under 16 will be held over the next couple of weeks. Watch this space for more details.
Castlebar Under 11 Rugby team had successful outing in Monivea on Saturday April 29th when they won the Annual Connaught U11 Blitz Plate Final. The team came back from defeats to Sligo and Corinthians in their first two games of the group stages to beat Galwegians in their third game to win through to the Plate semi-final. This was a very tight game as defeat for either team meant an early exit from the competition. The Castlebar pack led by captain Ryan Coleman put Galwegians under pressure from the touch off. Hard work by Gary Creaton, Edward Gannon, Luke Benson and Diarmuid Finnan kept the opposition pinned down in their own half. Some good ball came out to the backs who ran time and again for the try line but failed to cross it. Early in the second half an excellent passing movement across the back line from Oisin Ferriter to Jack Hannigan to Eamonn Kennedy out to Keith Egan on the wing saw Conor Tuohy go over for a memorable try. This was quickly followed by another try by Oisin Ferriter. This saw Castlebar through to the semi-final against Corinthians "B".
For the semi-final Castlebar rested their exhausted front row and brought on Ciaran Dunleavy, Cian Morrin and Oisin Kyne. These fresh players proved their worth as drove time and again into the Corinthians pack and provided good ball to their backs. The tackling practise that the squad had been put through during their training sessions all year bore fruit in this match as they stopped every attempt Corinthians made to run the ball with some excellent tackles. With only minutes to go Conor Tuohy made break off the back of a scrum to score the winner. This had been a tough encounter for both teams. For Castlebar however the Final had still to be contested. One change was made for the final with Patrick Durcan replacing the injured Eamonn Kennedy; indeed the coaches had a difficult task deciding on the team such was the competition for places.
The final was against Athlone, and Castlebar put them under pressure and threatened their line from the kick off. Good work by the forwards saw a clean ball come back to Conor Tuohy who went over for a try and the lead for Castlebar. Athlone were quick to reply and level the match when they broke through a normally solid Castlebar defence. Castlebar got back into the match and early in the second half when Jack Hannigan got possession in the middle of the field and broke through several tackles to put Castlebar back in the lead with a great try. James Durcan was introduced to the game at this stage to capitalise on his speed as the Athlone team had started to tire. However just before full time an Athlone breakaway saw the Castlebar line crossed and the match all level again. The full time whistle blew shortly afterwards and the game had to go into sudden death with the next score winning. Castlebar won the toss for the restart and captain Ryan Coleman, who had a great game, decided to let Athlone kick off. The long kick was caught by Patrick Durcan who passed the ball to his brother James. James ran through the approaching Athlone forwards slipped two tackles before releasing the ball back to Patrick who was in support. Patrick could not be caught and crossed over for the winning try. The Castlebar lads were jubilant with their well deserved victory. There was a presentation afterwards where players were presented with plaques.
The coaches John Hannigan, Bernard Kennedy and Jimmy Tuohy would like to thank all those who attended Under 11 Training this year and all those who attended the Blitz and we hope to see them back again in September as Under 12’s. A special tanks to the parents who travelled to the blitz.
Castlebar Under 12 Rugby Squad took part in the Annual Blitz at Corinthians on Saturday. The squad was a mixture experienced players such Owen Thornton, Bernard Kennedy, Daniel Byrne, Eoghan Quinn, Michael Flynn, Liam Nevin, Liam Moran, David Faulkner and Eric Gavin along with newer players Ryan Maguire and Nathan O’Malley.
There first game was against Galwegians that they won 3-1. Liam Nevin scored the first try with a brilliant run from inside his own "22". This was followed by scores from Ryan Maguire who brushed aside several tackles to touchdown just before half time. Owen Thornton scored a third with a zigzagging solo effort early in the second half. Galwegians scored a consolation try on full-time. The second match was against a strong Ballinasloe side which immediately put the Castlebar lads under pressure and eventually scored a push over try. Castlebar regrouped and after some very good rucking Nathan O’Malley broke away with the ball and ran 50 metres to touch down the equaliser. Castlebar withstood some severe pressure in the second half before conceding a late try to loose 2-1. Their third game was against Corinthians who had a very big pack and good backs. After some very good open play by both sides Corinthians scored just before half time. Early in the second half, an up to now subdued Eoghan Quinn grabbed a loose ball in his own half and ran through the opposing defence to score the equaliser. A few minutes after the restart Corinthians got their second try and regained their lead. Their then followed a period of intense pressure from Castlebar who put together about 8 phases of possession but were stopped on the Corinthians line and just could not breach it. The game ended in a 2-1 defeat for Castlebar. The last game was against West Offaly Lions (Ferbane). Ryan Maguire opened the scoring for Castlebar with a fine run down the wing. This game turned out to be a very open and entertaining game with fine rugby played by both sides. Midway through the second-half Lions got an equaliser that proved to be the last score of the game.
This was the final set of games for this squad at Under 12. Their coaches would like to thank all those who attended at weekly training throughout the year for their commitment to the game and the sportsman lie way they played. We wish them well as they move to the Under 14 Panel and we are sure they will all be a great addition to them.
The AGM of Castlebar RFC will take place on Tuesday May 23rd at the clubhouse starting at 8.30pm. It is very important that as many members attend as possible as the coming year will be a very important year for the Club.
Lotto: Friday the 5th of May in Byrne’s main street. Rory Casey ‘s team promote this month. All players must return tickets as soon as possible. Jackpot is 7,200 euro.